Jake Atlas is opening up about a COVID Diagnosis that took a toll on his mental health and says WWE was very good to him throughout this process.
Jake Atlas is one of the many WWE NXT and 205 Live Superstars that were released by the company on Friday, August 6. Though he had been featured on some episodes of NXT truly gotten the Run that would catapult him into mainstream superstardom.
Recently, following the tragic passing of Daffney Unger, Jake Atlas revealed that WWE offered him counseling for mental health issues. Now, in a new interview with Denise Salcedo, Jake is expanding on what led to needing that counseling including a COVID diagnosis from this past June.
"I personally don’t think that I was ready for such a big shift in my career, I didn’t know how to handle pressure well, I still don’t think I know how to handle pressure well but that’s something I have to cope with. The first year was magnificent but it was also a very weird year because a pandemic happened. I got COVID around June. That was something I stayed silent on and no one really knew until now. That really affected me, I got really really sick, it affected my lungs, I still feel like it’s affecting me, not like other people who have had complications, but you can definitely feel different, atleast I do after getting it. So I started to put pressure on my own performances, and kinda just started seeing myself kinda flee away from the wrestler that I was. I feel like in 2019 I was on such a high… It was just an immense amount of pressure, constantly being reminded by the fans that I shouldn’t have gone to WWE, always being told something about what I should have done. It really got to me mentally, then I didn’t feel satisfied with what I did, and I also didn't feel like I was myself."
Continuing on, Atlas would say that training with Roderick Strong for six months was a very positive influence on his career and Roderick offered further help and suggestions to Atlas in regards to his mental health.
"I started training with Roderick Strong weekly, and I trained with him for about 6 months, one of the most positive influences in my career so far. Roderick Strong told me about different avenues that I could take to kinda better my mental health. WWE does provide many things, they provide therapy and counseling and they cover it and they encourage you to take it. I remember saying ‘I need to do this or it’s gonna get ugly.’ Up until March of this year, from March of 2020, which was only 3 months into starting there to March 2021 is when I just had a mental breakdown almost every day. There are days when I would just cry, it was just an immense amount of pressure again that I would put on myself. I just didn’t feel like I was breaking out or being myself or getting people to get behind me. I didn’t feel like I was offering anything authentic. I remember watching my matches back, and I would see this Jake Atlas on the screen and I remember just being so disconnected from what I was watching on TV. It was really rough and tough but I am glad I got the help that I got."
He continued, "They actually take very good care of you, if you get COVID pretty bad because everyone gets it differently. I know for me it got pretty bad, I was out for about a month, maybe 6 weeks...WWE was always great at taking care of us during the pandemic even to this day to my knowledge."
Now, Jake Atlas is back on the independent circuit and has already competed in the main event of Effy’s Big Gay Brunch and is looking forward to competing at Ring of Honor Death Before Dishonor on Saturday, September 12. Learn more here.